Bolt's Inter Dominion campaign remains in balance

By Michael Guerin

Inter Dominion Trotting favourite Bolt For Brilliance is still a chance to contest the series even after a disastrous New Zealand Cup week.

The Rowe Cup winner was pulled out of the Dominion last Friday when he finished unplaced in the Worthy Queen Trot at Addington on Cup Day, with a veterinary examination finding he had mucus in his airway.

That followed a below par performance at Kaikoura the week before, meaning the wonderful trotter has been unplaced back to back for the first time in a year, putting his Inter Dominion campaign in doubt.

The series starts in Victoria on November 26 (Saturday week) and Bolt For Brilliance will need to be on a plane next Wednesday to represent New Zealand there.

Trainer-driver Tony Herlihy says he would still like to go but he is not rushing to make his final decision.

“We treated him last week and hope that has knocked it on the head but we will know a lot more this week,” says Herlihy.

“He is back here (Auckland) now and I worked him this morning and I will give him some strong work on Tuesday and then have him scoped by Ivan Bridge.

"If we are happy with that we will press on and I will probably give him some fast work around Saturday and then we will make a final decision.”

The final acceptance payment for the trotting series is this Friday so Bolt For Brilliance looks likely to still be in the series then and Herlihy has until next Monday afternoon to pull him out so he will not be in the fields for the first round of heats.

“We will well and truly know by then if we are going or not but we still want to go and if he shows us this week that he is recovering then we will still make plans to go.”

The doubts over Bolt For Brilliance will have the trotter’s market in a holding pattern as he deserves to be a warm favourite for the series if he goes but if he doesn’t the entire series becomes far more open.

The market for the pacing series sees the McCarthy stablemates Spirit Of St Louis and Expensive Ego as the favourites and after last-start Menangle wins Luke McCarthy is certain both are exactly where they need to be.

McCarthy says Alta Orlando will join that pair in the pacing series but a final decision on whether A G’s White Socks heads south to Victoria won’t be made until after he contests quite a moderate Free-For-All at Menangle this Saturday night.

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